Post Updated: April 17th 2018
Are you looking for some extra income? It seems like side hustles are everywhere these days, but how do you choose a good one? My basic criteria for a side hustle must be a legitimate venture that isn’t illegal, must pay well and must be easy to get into. It should also take advantage of skills, interests and equipment that you already have. Where do you find a gig like that?
Word of warning – most side hustles aren’t that lucrative when you’re first starting out. If you need money this week for an unexpected expense, becoming a virtual assistant or Uber driver-partner likely won’t do much for you in the short term. However, if you choose well and stick with it, there are lots of side hustles out there that can earn you real money. Some can even lead to full-time careers.
Best Side Hustles you can Start Today
This is my #1 work-at-home job for people who don’t have fancy college degrees- Freelance Copywriter.
Have you ever looked at a marketing slogan or advertisement and thought, “I can do better than that?” Do you love witty wordplay, original memes and creative storytelling? If so, you are the ideal candidate to become a Freelance Copywriter!
In terms of getting paid for work that can be both well-paying and fun, nothing comes close to copywriting. Copywriters can make on average between $27 to $50 per hour according to Indeed.com. Many copywriters command over $100 an hour, and that’s still considered mid range:
Becoming a copywriter requires more than just fluency in English. It also requires a deep understanding of cultural nuances, human psychology, and the ability to wield words in a specific manner. A good copywriter can literally turn a failing business around through words. This is why copywriters are in such high demand.
The best way to prepare to become a great copywriter is by taking well-structured courses that get you to think and write like a copywriter. My favorite course on how to write superb copy and start earning money as a copywriter is Len’s Smith video course “Copywriting- Become a freelance copywriter. Your Own Boss“.
Best Copywriting Jobs:
As every writer (and reader) can appreciate, a good editor is critical to clear and coherent communication. As Lynne Truss illustrated in her famous book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, there are few things worse than a misplaced comma. The confusion and misunderstanding that can result can have some very unfortunate repercussions.
Every publication big to small knows the importance of a good editor to ensuring the quality of the articles they put out, which is why freelance editors are in such high demand these days. They can mean the difference between a mediocre article to one that dazzles readers and goes viral. It is no wonder that Freelance Editors can be paid up to $60/hour. The average pay is around $25/hr, according to PayScale.
The most critical skills employees look for when hiring a freelance editor are strong language skills, knowledge of grammar rules, detail-oriented, and the ability to work under deadlines. But perhaps most important of them all is learning how to position yourself as an awesome editor. A video course I highly recommend that shows you how to quickly do all these things and start earning as a full time freelance editor is “How to Become a Freelance Editor” by Laura Pennington.
Best Freelance Editor Jobs:
If you’re a native speaker, freelance writing is one of the easiest ways to immediately start earning some money on the side. Contrary to belief, you don’t need to be a Pulitzer winning author to get into freelance writing. Blogs and web sites have an insatiable appetite for content of all levels. Obviously the better and more specialized you are at writing, the higher the rates you can demand, but if you are a native English speaker, you CAN earn money writing online.
Depending on your level of writing, you can get paid to rewrite old articles, ghost-write blogs, or even sell your own articles to various online publications. At the shallow end, this isn’t a very lucrative field, but the opportunity is there to work your way up.
Freelance writing is also a good choice if you live abroad and want to fund your travels or supplement your income.
Start Your Own Blog
Instead of writing for other people, a much more lucrative (and rewarding) variation of the writing gig is to start a blog. You’ve probably read many amazing success stories of blogging already, and there’s a reason why you keep reading about them. Blogging has transformed the lives of countless single or working moms, including our own. The best part of it is, there’s NO reason why you can’t do the same. All you need is passion for a certain niche, and the ability to share that passion through writing. Choose a niche that has a sizable audience, and come up with engaging, useful content on related topics you love.
Think of blogging as a long term project- the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be rewarded with passive income over time. There are infinite ways to make money from a blog, from advertising, affiliate marketing, to creating your own ebook or digital product to sell.
For us, Best of Budgets generates a consistent $600 to $700 a month these days, all with very little day to day work. MaxBounty, PeerFly, and other affiliate networks are the main drivers of our income, by promoting paid surveys, student refinancing programs, and other relevant offers when it actually helps our readers.
Stop putting off blogging any longer. You can get set up in just 15 minutes and for the cost of a couple of Starbucks Coffee: Click here for step by step instructions.
If you’ve got a reliable car and you love meeting people, partnering with a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft may be just what you need. Some people even do this full time, but for most drivers it’s probably better to treat it as supplemental income. If you can drive during the peak hours, you will earn a higher rate per ride.
Driving may not pay much more than conventional part-time jobs, but you have the freedom to make your own schedule and drive as much or as little as you want in a given week. And if you’re an extrovert, the best rewards of driving may actually be the new people you meet and stories you hear on a daily basis.
Offering rides isn’t the only way to make money off your car. You can also side-hustle as a delivery driver. Some companies hire drivers to deliver for restaurants, while others focus on package delivery. Depending on the job, you may even be able to use a bike if you don’t have a car.
You can book blocks of time that work with your schedule. Just be aware that certain times of day are much more lucrative than others, especially if you’re delivering meals. But on average you can make between $18 to $25 making deliveries. Check out Amazon Flex for parcel delivery, and Door Dash for meal delivery.
Best Delivery Driving Jobs:
If you’ve got good typing skills, you can actually make a decent amount of money on the side as a transcriptionist. Unlike with freelance writing, there is usually very little research or complex thinking involved in transcriping. This makes it a less stressful side hustle choice if you’ve got a demanding main job.
You can maximize your earnings as a transcriptionist, by ensuring you have the proper transcription software and foot pedal.
Virtual Assistant (VA)
Most businesses and executives – especially self-employed – need the services of a VA to help them stay on top of their priorities and achieve their objectives on time and on budget. This is why there’s such EXPLOSIVE growth in the VA industry. A competent VA is a HUGE asset to virtually any business online these days.
Unlike the typical office job, VA’s have more freedom to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It’s the perfect job for stay-at-home mothers or even a guy who doesn’t want to have to wear a suite and tie to work every day.
You can expect to be paid $10 to $30/hour as a mid level VA, according to PayScale. For all the skills and pitfalls you need to know in order to maximize your earnings as a VA, check out this best selling course on Udemy: “Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant“.
Part or Full Time Youtuber
Are you comfortable in front of your web cam? What about behind the scenes as a video editor? If so that’s literally all it takes to start your very own channel on Youtube, and potentially create a lucrative source of passive income for years to come.
You see, videos are fast overtaking traditional media and even blogs for consumer attention. Like Google, people are turning to Youtube to search for everything from “how to make spaghetti and meatballs” to “piano renditions of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance”. In other words, the sky is the limit on the types of videos you can create that can capture the attention of an audience.
The three main ways of making money via Youtube is:
- Ad Revenue from Google- Build up a large subscriber base
- Affiliate Marketing- Promote affiliate programs using well made Youtube videos that solve a specific problem
- Endorsements- Again, build up a large enough subscriber base
One of the least talked about and most lucrative ways to make money on Youtube is by promoting affiliate programs. You don’t need thousands of subscribers or millions of views to make a lot of money. With affiliate marketing, all you need is a small audience- the right type of audience- plus videos that help solve a specific problem.
If your goal is to treat your Youtube channel like a business and start making money from it ASAP, I highly recommend the course “YouTube Affiliate Marketing Mastery” by Bryan Guerra. It will blow your mind to the potential amount that can be made by combining Youtube videos with affiliate programs.
For a good overview of all the ways you can make money on Youtube with a small channel, out this awesome video that breaks down all the ways:
Teaching English Online
Teaching English online offers any native English speaker the ability to earn a decent hourly wage ($10 to $70) in the comfort of his/her own home. Not every ESL job requires you to have a college diploma either.
There are many ESL Teaching Platforms online for you to quickly set up your virtual classroom. All you need is a computer, decent internet connection, and a quality web cam.
As a former ESL teacher, I can tell you how incredibly fulfilling it can be teaching languages to students that are really eager to learn, and appreciate you for the work you do.
Why not turn your creative hobby into extra money? If your friends are raving about your hand-made jewelry or embroidered bags, look into selling some of your handiwork on a site like Etsy.
There’s a lot of competition, so aim for a balance between catering to trends and offering something unique. You’ll also need to promote your product with good photography and by sharing on social media.
Setting Up WordPress Blogs for Friends
Successful side hustles are all about monetizing your existing skills, then scaling it. This one definitely fits both of those criteria. If you already have a WordPress blog and are familiar with how to install themes and plugins, leverage that skill! Everyone these days wants a web site, most people don’t have the slightest clue how to go about it. That spells opportunity.
I can personally attest to how viable this hustle is, making me around $600/mon.
The 3 main secret ingredients to making this hustle work are:
- Signing up with an inexpensive web host that supports hosting unlimited sites
- Knowing where to purchase premium WordPress themes that offer unlimited sites licensing
- Using an effective script to contact friends and acquaintances and convert them into customers
Learn the exact strategies I use to convert friends and acquaintances into paying customers in this blog post.
If you’ve got a good camera and you know how to use it, you can make some extra money selling microstock photos. Microstock companies charge users a small amount to download photos. The idea is that you sell the same image many times for a couple of dollars, rather than once for a hundred dollars.
As beautiful as your landscape shots might be, you’ll get better results with photos that customers can use on their commercial websites. Try taking some behind-the-scenes shots of a restaurant or other business.
Custom T-shirt Design
Here’s another one for the artists. Some online sites let you upload a design so you can print and sell custom T-shirts and other merchandise on-demand. This means that there’s no risk of printing more than you can sell and being stuck with the cost.
Custom T-shirt designs can be a stand-alone gig, but they can also be an effective way to generate more income from a successful blog or online business. Check out Threadless, Cafepress, or Zazzle to see how it works.
Last But Not Least…Paid Surveys
And finally, if you’re looking to make a couple of bucks while sitting on the couch, paid surveys are your ticket. You won’t get rich doing surveys, but I’ve managed to make enough to pay off household bills and holiday expenses just by sharing my opinions online.
Why wait? Whatever your skill set or passion, chances are good that you can start turning it into some extra income today.